Panasonic S1 Review: Nearly perfect

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Panasonic is last to the full-frame mirrorless fight, but it’s coming out swinging. In February, it unveiled the S1 and S1R cameras and both of them are tough, beastly models with impressive feature sets. The 24.2-megapixel S1 I’m reviewing here is the more affordable at $2,500, but it’s also the most versatile, aimed equally at photographers and videographers. Feature-wise, it lines up closely with Sony’s A7 III and the new Nikon Z 6.

The spec sheet is packed with impressive features like 5-axis in-body stabilization, 10-bit internal 4K recording, a stellar electronic viewfinder and dual card slots. I had concerns about the price and autofocus system, however, so I was very curious to see how it stacked up against its main rivals in a full review. Now, let’s find out.

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Comments

Artiom Beknazaryan says:

Not impressed kinda. I guess BMPCC4K is the best solution for a videographer at a price of 1300$. Fuck FF… i just cant see the benefits with the bigger sensors. These days small sensor tech is so advanced combined with computational photography . Was impressed how Huawei P30 Pro dealt with low light with its microscopic sensor.

The Faustian Man says:

This guy has no idea what he is talking about. First Nikkon only started offering the adapter recently, it was a few hundred before as a big FU to the early adapters. Second Nikkon is having a plague of returns because of the focus failure rate. Phase detection is going to give you banding. The s1 is a better camera period. Firmware is free to upgrade and will give you more features like the new CFexpress card. The paid upgrad is only if you want vlog and somekind of internal thingy, which is not necessary. Just like how we all got Cine4k all-i for the GH5 for free, despite not having paid for V-LOG.

RedEyeJedi says:

Yup, Lots of dials and buttons.

saiiiiiii1 says:

Panasonic just doesn't seem to learn. Sure it's hard to develop a good phase detect AF system, but at some point you've got to start. The Panasonics are a joy to use, but the AF-C is just terrible compared to other rivals.

Durio sp says:

Panasonic, please, your DFD 😥

*Nice review btw 👍

VOLKOVFILMS says:

Снимают все какое-то гавнище!!! моглибы снять рекламку шмоток какуюнибудь, людей в движении красивых… а то смотреть больно.. курочки..

Iguana Divergent says:

Bit strange conclusion when the S1 has dual I.S., better EVF, better handling, better low ISO(dxo results are scam), better colour science (perhaps subjective), better UI, better image quality (no banding, more dynamic range, natural pleasing colours) better weathersealing and overall better build. Thats a big list, z6 and S1 are different tools.

Frank Feng says:

A7SIII will come out with an 8K sensor.

E N. says:

Such a stunning camera. Got my S1 body + free battery grip + free extra battery + 3 year extended warranty for $2500. A steal.

renderman.pro says:

It delivers super crisp video in 4K, that is why I created my video in FHD….

Callum Butler says:

I'll stick to my sony a9

Albert L says:

The autofocus hunting for video + the price is exactly why I would stay away from this camera. Maybe I should improve my manual focus skills but yet other mirrorless cameras at lower prices offer better autofocus.

The price of the S1 with their higher priced lenses are approaching the cost level of semi-professional camcorders that offer 4k60p, HDR, autofocus, and better battery life.

Daniel Cabral says:

Thanks for pointing out that the flippy screen is not needed on this camera. It is not for vlogging. People should opt for the Micro 4/3 options from Panasonic if that is what they want.

I. Fawzy says:

You can buy three pixel 3 phones for that price and shoot way more better photos and videos with them!

Norman Kleinberg says:

Not sure I understand: If the AF is the weak point of this camera (not saying it's the ONLY one, just seems to be the main one) then why prefer the Z6, of all cameras. That AF system is supposed to be its Achilles' heel.

Minolta4Life says:

Phase detection on the sensor is deal breaker for me. There are other cameras can buy if they want phase detection or dual pixel technology.

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